Crop Biotech Update

Rice Allelle Early flowering1 Affects Spikelet Fertility through Gibberellic Acid Signaling

July 29, 2015

Gibberellic acid (GA) affects the development of floral organs, especially male organs. Many studies of GA signaling have concentrated on its effect on anther development, but not on grain production. Seoul National University's researchers studied the effect of GA signaling on grain production.

Researchers generated lines that are homozygous for the Early flowering1 allele, EL1, or for the non-functional allele, el1. Plants homozygous for el1 exhibited anther deformities and low pollen viability. Further examination of the expression levels in spikelets during heading stage revealed an increased expression of GAMYB, a GA activator, which could be the cause of the low pollen viability and anther deformity.

The el1 homozygous plants have male sterile phenotypes largely due to its inability to limit GA signaling. The results suggest that EL1 is tasked with GA signaling and thus is involved in spikelet fertility during grain production.

For more information on the journal article, read the full study in Rice journal.